COVID-19 and the Great Resignation
The COVID-19 pandemic turned many aspects of our lives upside down. One of the biggest disruptions was to how we worked.
Frontline workers bore the brunt putting in shift after shift in our busy hospitals, supermarkets and essential services.
Those who work in hospitality, retail and tourism among other industries had to deal with shutdowns due lockdown restrictions. And those who work in offices found themselves at home, learning how to use Zoom and juggling online learning.
The impacts of these changes are still felt today through our changed habits, revised expectations, and re-evaluations of what is most important in life. For some, the pandemic accelerated what was already building up in their lives.
This has led to the phenomenon of The Great Resignation across Australia, the United States and other countries, where workers take advantage of tight job markets and recovering economies to find opportunities that best align with their new priorities.
To understand how this might affect marketers, Edentify asked our Cafestudy members how the pandemic made them rethink their career or values in life.
Mental health and burnoutCOVID-19 took a toll on the mental health of Australians. For some, that bore out in feelings of burnout, while for others it crystalised a mood that had been building pre-pandemic.
Cafestudy members also mentioned travel restrictions and the inability to visit loved ones as reasons why their mental health suffered.
Seeking greener pasturesIndustry shutdowns, erratic hours and additional work pressures caused Cafestudy members to re-evaluate their current employment situation and look elsewhere for new opportunities.
Maintaining flexibilityFor many workers the COVID-19 pandemic led to seismic changes in their traditional day-to-day: working from home, online meetings, reduced hours or additional days off. Cafestudy members want to keep this flexibility, and are prepared to change jobs to do so.
Feel lucky for what I've gotNot all Cafestudy members were on the hunt for a new job: for some COVID-19 made them feel lucky for their lot in life.
Focus on what's most importantAbove all, the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the resulting trials and tribulations allowed Cafestudy members to reflect on what was most important: time spent with family and friends.
What does the great resignation mean for marketers?
For some, it means opportunities for their own careers, looking for better opportunities or more balanced lives.
In terms of understanding consumers, it represents a clear shift in priorities. After over 2 years of Covid, many people are now wanting to focus on what is important to them, with their focus switching from tangible products to experiences that make them happy.
The trend of working from home is also likely to continue into the future for many. This will open the door for products and services that make this easier, from gourmet food and coffee to furniture, clothing, and technology.
As things return somewhat to normal, we are also likely to see a return to some of the things that people have missed, and are now a higher priority in people’s lives, such as travel and social experiences.
The big question that is still unanswered is how long this situation will last. Will people begin to return to their old attitudes and outlooks once Covid is (hopefully) just a memory? We will continue to explore this in coming months.
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